Nipped in the Bud

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March 20, 2019 -  By
Photo: Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

Photo: Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

Lawn care operators can control crabgrass after it emerges using Dimension Specialty Herbicide, as well as using a number of cultural practices.

Gil Del Rosario

Gil Del Rosario

When the redbud trees begin to bloom, or when the first signs of growth start to appear on the forsythia bush, lawn care operators can be certain that crabgrass is not too far behind.

“In general crabgrass will emerge when soil temperatures two inches deep reach 50 to 55 degrees for three days in a row,” said Gil Del Rosario, market development specialist for Corteva Agriscience™, the Agriculture Division of DowDuPont. “But some of those biological indicators can clue LCOs into when the crabgrass plants are beginning to germinate so they can make decisions about how to combat it.”

As with any weed, crabgrass is easier to manage before it emerges. But if LCOs can’t get to it in time, there are ways to get it — and keep it — under control.

“If LCOs can’t get to the crabgrass before it’s emerged, the easiest way to control it is with a product like Dimension® specialty herbicide, which will still control the crabgrass post emerge when dinitroaniline (DNA) herbicides will no longer work,” Del Rosario said. “There are also a number of cultural practices LCOs can adopt to help improve the overall battle against crabgrass.”

Crabgrass. Photo: Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

Photo: Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

How Dimension works

Dimension can control crabgrass at its early stages of growth, Del Rosario said. In warm-season turf areas, Dimension can be used up to the five tiller stage of the plant. In cool-season turf areas, the product can combat crabgrass up to the five-leaf stage.

Dimension is also very effective during the critical two- to eight-week period when crabgrass has emerged and but is not yet noticeable in the landscape.

“This is a critical period that LCOs often miss because the plant is really small and hard to see,” Del Rosario said. “If LCOs are still using DNA herbicides, treatments are compromised between and during that time. This is where Dimension is great because the treatments they’ve made will still be effective.”

Del Rosario adds that Dimension is very stable on the soil surface and does not need to be immediately watered in after it is applied. This increases the effectiveness of each application and provides better results.

“Let’s say you have an account that has water restrictions or relies on natural precipitation,” he said. “If that is the case, Dimension will still provide consistent and reliable control in contrast to other products that break down rapidly on the soil surface and need to be watered in very soon after application.”

Home. Photo: Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

Photo: Corteva AgriScience, Agriculture Division of DowDuPont

Other factors in controlling crabgrass

As for cultural methods, Del Rosario suggests LCOs get a weed pressure history of the property to get an idea of the types of problems they will be dealing with, particularly for new clients. This can be done by having a conversation with the property owner about their concerns or by doing a “weed walk,” a thorough scouting of the area to look for weed indicators. Once LCOs identify target weeds, they should determine their life cycles so they know when to treat them.

Before the start of the busy spring season, LCOs should make sure all of their equipment is serviced and calibrated and all of their technicians are properly trained and ready to hit the ground running. A good fertility program that ensures turf is thriving during the active growing season, addressing pest and disease issues as they arise, and adhering to proper mowing heights can also help keep crabgrass at bay.

“The spring season is the busiest time of the year for LCOs,” Del Rosario said. “Dimension is one simple product that can be used across all different types of turf and landscape beds, can be reliable in nearly all weather conditions and offers consistency of control across a wide window of applications.”

™®Trademarks of Dow AgroSciences, DuPont or Pioneer, and their affiliated companies and their respective owners. State restrictions on the sale and use of Dimension apply. Consult the label before purchase or use for full details. Always read and follow label directions.

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